During the winter I made a somewhat bold statement, that I’m not sure many agreed with it at the time. I stated that, I’d rather have Rhys Hoskins long term than Tommy Joseph. There was a great deal of skepticism regarding Hoskins 2016, mostly because it took place in the comfy confines of FirstEnergy (not a typo) Stadium. And really, who can blame them? The ballpark is so bananas, it tricked people into thinking Darin Ruf, and Dylan Cozens were actually good. That said, there was a lot to like about Hoskins profile,  FirstEnergy (not a typo) Stadium not withstanding. Throughout his professional career he’s hit for power (.233 ISO), average (.291), gotten on base (.375), and walked at a high rate (10.4%). He’s also done all this while striking out at a sub-20% clip. Tell me that doesn’t scream MLB worthy? In the offseason I was by far the high man on Hoskins, ranking him 57th in my top 100. Fast forward two and half months, and Hoskins is the new danger, hitting a robust .350/.447/.675 with 8 homers, and 15 RBIs in just 24 games. Meanwhile Tommy J struggles in Philly, and the calls for Hoskins in Philly get louder. Sure he’s a right-handed throwing first baseman, but Paul Goldschmidt scoffs at you scoffs at your concerns. I put my money where my mouth is on Hoskins, and dealt Nick Gordon, and T.J. Friedl in the Baseball Prospectus expert league, The Devil Rejects, back in November, and am quite happy with how my gamble looks to paying off. This prospector’s word of advice, go get Hoskins. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this week in the minors.

 

  • My 45th Ranked prospect Isan Diaz, went 0 for 4 and snapped a 12 game hitting streak last night. Over the course of streak, the diminutive middle infielder hit .388/.436/.796, with 5 homers, 15 RBIs, 2 steals, and the most encouraging sign, a 16.4% K rate. After a rough start, he’s really come on.
  • Off the fringe radar is Diaz’s teammate Jake Gatewood, who might be even hotter than Diaz.  As he continued his 13 game hitting streak last night, going 2 for 2, with a homer, his fifth of the season. The 41st overall pick in the 2014 draft was moved to first base this year, and looks to be improving on previous flashes of power.
  • The Phillies Daniel Brito is off to a fine start, and has been labeled a potential breakout prospect for 2017 by many of the scouting publications. He’s slashing .320/.369/.447, with 3 homers, and 6 steals for the low A Lakewood Blue Claws. The lefthanded hitting second baseman is still only 19, and is getting his first taste of full season ball. Definitely one to watch.
  •  Another day, another Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homer yesterday afternoon. The spawn of Vlad, is hitting .342/.457/.579 for Lansing of the Midwest League. To put this in perspective, he turned 18 on March 16th! Meaning he’s one of the youngest players in full season ball, and amongst it’s best performers. He’s not getting lucky either, he has an elite 27% line drive rate, and the reports are he’s making consistent hard contact.
  • The other Vladimir, no not Vlady Jr.’s pops, but Reds pitching prospect Vladimir Gutierrez made friends last night as he cruised through 7 innings last night against Fort Myers, striking out 9 over 7 innings, and allowing 2 earned runs. The Cuban pitching prospect could move quickly with more performances like this.
  • You might remember the name from his short time in Colorado or my glowing prose, but old friend Raimel Tapia’s hit streak reached 10. What might be even more impressive, he’s reached base in each of his 19 minor league games.
  • The Fresh Prince of Rancho Cucamonga Will Smith, jacked his 5th homer of the season last night. At the moment he’s been one of the more impressive hitters among catching prospects. Then again, that’s not going out on a limb here, he entered last night’s game slashing .301/.416/.575, with a 13.3% BB%, and a 21.1% K%.
  • Here’s my obligatory post about Lewis Brinson sponsored by Fresh Balls, and the Crab Army. Brinson went 1-4 with a solo homer….and 3 K’s. There has to be an expression for a golden sombrero and homer in the same game. If I had magical Grey powers I’d ask for a glossary term.
  • Oakland A’s prospect Renanto Nunez homered for the fourth consecutive game last night. He’s started to turn it on of late (no shizz Ralph), but the strikeouts remain an issue. Might see some time in Oakland this year, but my excitement is waning.
  • Another prospect Dave Dombrowski traded to the Padres is making noise. This time it’s Logan Allen, as the 19 year old lefty went 6 scoreless innings, striking out 9. The swing and miss stuff is so for real here, not a bad stash in deeper dynasty.
  • Sad news on the injury front, AAA Cubs masher Ian Happ hit the DL, with a bruised left thumb. Hopefully this heals quickly and has no lingering effects.
  • Louisville lefty ace/slugging first baseman Brendan McKay is gaining traction on more and more mock drafts as going 1.1 to the Twinkies. There’s an interesting wave of 2 way players coming into the game between McKay, fellow 1.1 candidate Hunter Greene, and Japanese superstar Shohei Otani. I’m pulling for McKay sticking as hitter. We need some college bats in a draft very thin on them.
  • My pre-season number 12 overall prospect Clint Frazier hit his 2nd homer in three games last night, and looks to be breaking out of his slump. If this Yankees squad continues to gel, gets back Gary Sanchez, and then can add Frazier and Gleyber at some time in the next year, that’s going to be one formidable squad. This time the young Yanks aren’t overhyped. I will not call them the baby bombers, because I refuse.
  • No-no alert: Nationals pitching prospect Jefry Rodriguez took a no hitter into the 8th last night, before yielding a double in the 8th, as Potomac won behind a Victor Robles homer. Rodriguez isn’t any thing special. The far more interesting part of this story is his teammate Victor Robles. Because everything the guy does is exciting, he does it all, a true 5 tool prospect.
  • One of the big movers up draft boards is North Carolina prep lefty MacKenzie Gore, with some scouts even rating him higher than Greene. Lots of mocks see him going 5th overall to the Braves. You know, because the Braves need more pitching prospects…
  • All Luis Urias does is hit, leading many to speculate just how soon the talented 19 year old will be in the bigs. He’s slashing .354/.431/.563 with an obsessive compulsive’s dream K% and BB%, both are 11.7%. He might be a bit of an “empty average”, but that’s all relative when you’re hitting above .310. This is an elite contact player, and they’ve moved him back to short.
  • Former Vandy ace, and new infatuation Walker Buehler was promoted to AA Tulsa on Tuesday, after striking out 27 in 16.1 innings for Rancho Cucamonga. This is his first full year back from TJ, so let’s pray for good health, but a cameo in the Doyers pen at the end of the season, wouldn’t be a shock.
  • More big news from former college aces coming back from TJ in the Cal League, Cal Quantrill struckout 12 over 6 innings for Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore, striking out rehabbing major leaguers Joc Pederson (1), and Logan Forsythe (3). I still say there’s an outside shot we see Quantrill in San Diego when rosters expand. They might shut him down before then, so it is remote.
  • After missing two weeks with a left wrist injury A’s 3rd base prospect Matt Chapman slugged his first two homers on Tuesday night. His defense is elite, and he hit 36 homers last year, it’s just a matter of keeping his K’s in check. Yeah… just that.
  • Right now the Red Sox need all the help they can get at the hot corner. And help just might be coming in the form of Rafael Devers. The top prospect in the Sox system, went 5 for 5 on Tuesday night, and is slashing .324/.351/.606 so far this season. With a career single-season high of 11 homers, he’s already connected for 5 in 2017. He’s arguably the best defensive 3rd baseman on the Red Sox now, and how much worse can his offense be than the guys there now?
  • Detroit Tigers pitching prospect Kyle Funkhouser’s 4.08 ERA is a bit deceiving. If you remove the one blowup where he allowed 7 runs in just two innings, you see just how dominant he’s been. How about 1 run across 14.2 innings with 27 strikeouts?
  • Through 28.1 innings this season Mets righty Merandy Gonzalez is yet to allow a run. So far the control has been pristine, waling less than a batter per inning. He’s got a quick, short arm action that gives him some deception, tough to tell if this is breakout or a hot streak.
  • Don’t look now, but Mickey Moniak is showing why he was the top overall selection in last year’s draft. Over the last 7 games, Moniak has hit safely in 6 of them, going 2 for 5, with a pair of doubles last night for Class A Lakewood. This Phillies system is busting at the seams with talented players.
  • The other Cody Reed of the Diamondbacks, has been looking to move ahead in the “who’s the better Cody Reed”, with a really nice showing with Kane County in the Midwest League, as he struckout a career high 11 last week, while lowering his already impressive 1.35 ERA.
  • Great pitching matchup tonight for those with MiLB TV, as two double A arms go head to head in Michael Kopech and Kolby Allard. If you’re a prospect head, that’s appointment television.
  • The UNO, aka the top prospect in baseball, aka Yoan Moncada, extended his hit streak to 9 games and is now hitting .330 after going 3 for 4 last night with 2 runs scored. He’ll be up within a month, mark my words.

 

Follow Me on Twitter @Ralphlifshitz and if you’re attending any minor league games this summer, use your phone to shoot some scouting videos for our crowdsourced scouting project. You can e-mail them to me at [email protected]  

96 Comments
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Chris R
Chris R
5 years ago

So, the dodgers super fan in our league just offered me Chris Archer and JA Happ for Cody Bellinger. The only thing that keeps this from being an instant click yes is that I can keep Bellinger for next year at zero cost. I am a bit deficient in homers and rbis, but i’m a little shallower with pitching having Carrasco and Gerrit Cole, then a bunch of just guys (daily moves though)

Jose
Jose
5 years ago

Ralph! Thanks for keeping us all on the up and up!

In a keep forever league, would you drop one of Bregman or Polanco for Moncada. The rest of my lineup is stacked, but I could use a 2B for next year. I have both of Segura and Turner who will more than likely lose 2B eligability next year. Polanco had plenty of upside when he’s not hurt. I don’t want to drop Bregman. His hit tool seems to be there, just waiting on the power that has to show up sometime. We have a -2 penalty for strikeouts and that concerns me with him.

Thanks Ralph!

James Gianoulis
James Gianoulis
5 years ago

Hay “Ralph”, have a dynasy league question. In an 8 team league with standard stats plus xbh and total bases as cats, I have been offered benintendi for gleybar. Have Seager at ss, and of is harper, springer, mookie, and CarGo. So no urgency to o a deal. Long term, would you rather benintendi or gleybar?

Brad Giacomino
Brad Giacomino
5 years ago

Feliz Cinco de Mayo, Ralph!

Golden fedora?

5×5 OBP deep keeper w/ 1 prospect keeper and fairly deep benches. I have Benintendi! LOVE BENINTENDI! But I’ll be damned if I don’t have a trade offer that I feel I can’t refuse. However, I’m in 2nd place and need serious pitching help and speed. The offer is Benintendi for:

Starling Marte
Jackie Bradley
Taijuan Walker

Is it too good a deal to pass on?

Do I drop Tommy Joseph or Bour with that deal?

Also, Gleyber Torres or Rhys as my prospect keeper? My 1B options are Moreland and the above mentioned. Thanks for any help given.

Brad Giacomino
Brad Giacomino
Reply to  Brad Giacomino
5 years ago

@Brad Giacomino: Now he wants to shift down to Norris instead of Walker.

Mo Money
Mo Money
5 years ago

Baretto or Carlos Arroyo ROS?

thorbs
thorbs
5 years ago

Rowdy droppable in a 12-team dynasty with 8 minor-league keepers? I’ve been hammered by injuries (Kluber, Richards, Guerra, Bedrosian, Bird, Trout, Kinsler) and can move Joe Ross to my minor league roster and add some immediate help.

FWIW the wire isn’t bare for minor leaguers, Profar, Gohara, Brett Phillips, O’Brien, Gillaspie, Chapman, etc., so I think I could find a comparable prospect or Tellez may not even get picked up.

Bradley J Vance
Bradley J Vance
5 years ago

3 k’s and a homer is a precious metal dong

Alcibiades Escobar
Alcibiades Escobar
5 years ago

The Crab Army endorses this article.

Grey
Admin
Reply to  Alcibiades Escobar
5 years ago

Oh Jesus

SheriffMcRawDawg
SheriffMcRawDawg
Reply to  Grey
5 years ago

@Grey:
(\/) (°,,°) (\/)

Grey
Admin
Reply to  SheriffMcRawDawg
5 years ago

Haha

Alcibiades Escobar
Alcibiades Escobar
Reply to  Grey
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: Clear Eyes. Fresh [email protected]Grey: Clear Eyes. Fresh Balls.

Alcibiades Escobar
Alcibiades Escobar
Reply to  Alcibiades Escobar
5 years ago

Jesus what happened there? Must have gotten some of my Fresh Balls in my eye. HI-O!

Geoff
Ralph Lifshitz
Reply to  Alcibiades Escobar
5 years ago

@Alcibiades Escobar: Crab down! Crab down! Fresh balls to the eye!

J-FOH
J-FOH
5 years ago

I had Will Smith on all my draft sheets this year. I don’t see a reason to jump on him yet because a) he’s a catcher and b) we have to take Cal league batting with a grain of rock salt but he’s definitely going to be someone to watch in AA. We should have a term for keeping eyes on High A breakouts when they
move up to AA. I’m sure the Dr. Noisewater would have a great idea…. he always does

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater
Dr. Kenneth Noisewater
Reply to  J-FOH
5 years ago

@J-FOH: Twin Peaks? I crack under pressure.

Shark
Shark
5 years ago

Oh, and don’t you think that Brinson would already be an upgrade over Broxton? And that Milwaukee is just waiting for the whole Super Two thing?

Shark
Shark
5 years ago

Love the confederacy of dunces reference. Thoughts on Zimmer’s potential to contribute this season? Maybe there’s just something about Almonte/Jackson/Chisenhall (at least Lonnie can hit) none of us, except the Indians, are privy to…

Dougie
Dougie
5 years ago

So, Renfroe was dropped in my dynasty league, and I know he’s slumping, but his salary is 1.2M. the average salary for a decent OF is 8-9M. 3 year contracts the +2M/year that you resign. Deshields is out there also for 3.1M. Do I dare drop JBJ at $9,787,000 for one of them? Which one? Whats your opinion on either/ all 3 of those guys longish term.

Dougie
Dougie
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: Hey, when you’re ranking prospects, you take eta into consideration, correct? I wonder, although, Hader should be up sometime this year, would you rather have Hader or
Yamamato long term?

Sport
Sport
5 years ago

Really enjoying the deep info on your prospect write ups! And now I wish I had more than one dynasty team to enjoy more of these names that are out there.

I really want Hoskins after this, but I’m rolling with Kyle Tucker and Nick Senzel, plus Hader and Honeywell.

Drop one of those four for Hoskins?

Al Koholic
Al Koholic
5 years ago

Awesome job Ralph thanks eta for brinson

AL KOHOLIC
AL KOHOLIC
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: im sure the leader will change hands a few more times,when do u see Brinson coming to my team

Steve
Steve
5 years ago

What do you think about Barreto’s chances of getting called up?

Thanks

Richard Davis
Richard Davis
5 years ago

I know he’s hurt now, but he is “technically” a Minor Leaguer. Are the Twins just DONE with Byung Ho Park? He hit pretty good during Spring Training, then got no shot to start the season? I’m just hoping to salvage some kind of value out of him after blowing the #4 pick in my prospect draft on him last season. And now with the talk of the Twins drafting McKay, I’m afraid both Park and Vargas have lost their value. Thanks

Organigram Dan the Met Fan
Organigram Dan the Met Fan
5 years ago

Hey Ralph, got any names of pitching prospects that are on the brink of a call up? I’m in a 16 team H2H and trying to stay ahead of the competition.

Cheers
Dan

OddBall Herrera
OddBall Herrera
5 years ago

The Rockies’ early success, particularly the guys who Dahl would be taking playing time away from when he gets back, plus Tapia’s performance behind him in the minors, plus the clear need the Rockies will have for pitching, sure makes Dahl seem like trade bait, doesn’t it? Think we’ll be seeing him in a White Sox uniform by the end of the season?

Halp
5 years ago

Awesome write-up. I can definitely vouch that you went out on a limb on the podcast before the season started and said you preferred Hoskins over Joseph. Thought you were nuts, ha. Well done. And great added touch with the GIF!

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: you write his name all over your trapper keeper and pee chee folders?

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: I’ll take a Lifshitz on Rhys with a coke and a bag of them kettle chips

Bobby
Bobby
5 years ago

Good afternoon man!

Better stash for ROS in my h2H pts/ weekly lock league

Moncada vs Bellinger vs Devers.

I mention Devers mainly because there’s a hole in my mind at 3b, Sandoval hasn’t delivered, Marco Hernandez is on the DL maybe holt at 3b? Hm short term maybe Sox should’ve held onto Shaw yes they had Sandoval coming back healthy but there’s a void there, if Boston calls up Devers do you see a scenario where he’s up before or after the mlb all star break? All star game is tues July 11/ which is slightly over 2 months away.

Now Bellinger is currently up but there’s rumblings he may be sent down which would be a mistake

Lastly the one I’m very high on Moncada.

I don’t have a certain position of need just looking for the one with best upside ROS.

News alert: breaking: Steven Wright is done for the 2017 season, will undergo cartilage restoration procedure in his left knee on Monday . Yikes & to think one year ago he was a beast!

Thanks & have a good day

LenFuego
LenFuego
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: Do you think they would they promote him to AAA before bringing him up, or just skip that level?

Wild Thing
Wild Thing
Reply to  LenFuego
5 years ago

@LenFuego:

There’s recent history out the sox calling people up from AA. I don’t think a AAA is necessary if he’s hitting

Geoff
Ralph Lifshitz
Reply to  LenFuego
5 years ago

@Wild Thing: @LenFuego: Yeah, he might get the call from AA. They called up Benintendi and Moncada, and Dombrowski has called up prospects from AA at his different stops throughout the years.

Bryce Krispie Treats
Bryce Krispie Treats
5 years ago

I hate the fact that Tapia will basically have to wait for a trade or an injury to happen before he’s called up. Any info on potential trades? Ive been on him forever and the rockies wont give him an extended shot.

Are you willing to do a player call up prediction? Im holding both Brinson and Torres.

Bryce Krispie Treats
Bryce Krispie Treats
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz:

Also — regarding the upcoming draft —

Who do you think the Twins will actually take? Would it be a giant mistake for the Twins to pass on the “lebron james” of baseball? Im a cubs fan living in MN, but I cheer for the Twins when I watch. I just wouldnt be surprised on a giant draft blunder. Ive read that Greene is trying to position himself to go to San Diego.

Jaaaaaake
Jaaaaaake
5 years ago

POSSIBLE ALTERNATE REALITY

Nate Jones stays hurt forever, Robertson is traded, and Nick Burdi comes up to close games for the lesser sox.

Now here’s the question — what % chance do you reckon this has of happening in real life?

Jaaaaaake
Jaaaaaake
5 years ago

I want Tapia. Hurry up please

Laura Holt
5 years ago

Hey Ralph, great stuff! How are you feeling about Nick Williams these days? Seems like after a promising spring, he’s struggling with plate discipline again and continuing to sink down the Phillies prospect chart. Makes me crazy when guys can’t learn how to take a damn walk!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater
Dr. Kenneth Noisewater
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: Someone is going to be sooooo jealous.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Dr. Kenneth Noisewater
5 years ago

@Dr. Kenneth Noisewater: Im turning green over here

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: bad case of the I want to write again just for Miss Wonderful to comment on my work and how great it is.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: If I was in the RCL my team name would be “Laura’s Number 1 Fan” or “Mr. Jack Holt”

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: there is before Laura and after Laura. To be fair I was this creepy with Sky when he wrote deep league especially that one pre-season when he crushed you know who with his calls that year.

Laura Holt
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: Well if I can feel like I’ve inspired a similar level of creepiness as Sky did, then I think I’ve done my job!

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: did you see her comment below, well maybe its above. It keeps getting better and better

SheriffMcRawDawg
SheriffMcRawDawg
5 years ago

Hoskins up before Happ now for sure? And Berrios over Hader for this year now?

And F/M/K: Jon Duplantier… I know which one I’m doing

SheriffMcRawDawg
SheriffMcRawDawg
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: oh no the FMK was just for duplantier… I want to f him

malamoney
5 years ago

Good stuff. How about Tyler Mahle? When do we see him?

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: so what you’re really saying is read my stuff before you ask me a question….subtle zing

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: of course you do, you would never want a friend to actually read your work. I totally get it. I have not seen these beefs you speak of with other writers because in the case of Tehol, he doesn’t count because yes he does write words, like any child does in elementary school, we’re just not sure what it all really means and in the case of that other guy that was just throwing stones in glass houses and really a man crying out to spend more time with his dog.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: Its like David and Goliath if David was Benji and Goliath gave him a bone and they lived happily ever after

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: I never remember crying when I was kid except the time I got hit in the head with an aluminum bat and cracked my skull and during Benji movies. My mom still has Benji sheets and a sleeping bag at her house. she’s a good woman